Dr. Lindsey's Newsletter #25: 40s Decade: When Will I Need a Facelift?

By: Dr. Lindsey Tavakolian


Plastic Surgery by Decade

40s: How Will I Know…When I Need a Facelift?

Absolutely everything in the 30s decade applies to you! In reality your 40s may be the decade that you finally have the time and the resources to focus on self improvement. It is also becoming more common for women to be in their child bearing years through their 30s and into their 40s. Y’all I am sneaking up on 40 and I will be the first to tell you that I checked the boxes for body procedures in my 20s but then spent my 30s focused on my education, career, skincare, and skin maintenance procedures. I will be one of those patients that is lifting and tucking in my 40s. If this is where you find yourself then spend some time on my last newsletter because it will be a helpful guide. 

Scar Jo

Scarlett Johansson on Plastic Surgery

The big question of your 40s decade: “Is it time for my first facelift?” 

The timeline of your facial aging will determine how soon you need a facelift and this  is dependent upon a few core features unique to you! Your genes, melanin content, and the latitude you spend most of your life at will determine how your face falls with time. In general, the more melanin you have, the less time you spend in the sun, and the more time you spend with proper SPF/UPF protection, the later you will need a facelift. Black, latin, and asian populations often do not show signs of facial aging until later in life and the reason is because their skin has protected them from damaging UV rays. For fair people with less melanocytes in their skin, the facial aging process will happen much sooner. 

Dolly P

Dolly Parton on Plastic Surgery

If you are in your 40s and have fair skin then it may be time for your first facelift. This is oversimplification and a very general guideline. There are other factors that play a role in aging including how thick and oily vs. thin and dry your skin is. Your skincare habits play a HUGE role here and prevention is everything. You may be fair and still have very mild facial aging if you have been strict with sun protection, have been using retinol since your 20s, and have prioritized annual microneedling to stimulate collagen production. If you are fair and did not have proper sun protection and skincare then you will likely need a facelift in your 40s. The two main things my patients notice when they are ready for a facelift are:

  1. Fullness of the jowl as it slides forward and downward on the face.
  2. Loose neck skin and a loss of neck/chin definition (the cervicomental angle).
Sofia V

Sofia Vergara on Plastic Surgery

Now let’s talk about those of you that may not NEED a facelift, but WANT a facelift in your 40s. As a plastic surgeon I have two approaches to counseling my patients who are seeking evaluation for facial aging. The no-brainer, traditional approach is that if a patient has very obvious features of facial aging, like eye-catching jowls and sagging neck skin, then I counsel them that they NEED a facelift (speaking in first world, luxury terms here). The second approach to facial aging is for a specific type of patient. There are some people who still look fantastic for their age, have mild signs of facial aging but want to have a facelift early to avoid ever seeing those features of significant facial aging. In the right hands, if you stay ahead of the game with this approach you shouldn’t ever look “done”. If this is your goal, I support this but you should know that your change will be small and discrete. If your goal is to always fly under the radar and make small changes with a big surgery - then this is the right decision for you. 



* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.